The 2017 College Football season started out rough for the Troy Trojans in their first game against the Boise State Broncos. Two of the biggest teams in the MWC and Sun Belt went head-to-head in an underrated matchup of non-AQ playoffs team in week 1. The Boise State Broncos defeated the Troy Trojans 24-13 on Boise’s special blue turf field.
The Broncos outgained the Trojans in total yards 357 to 215 yards because of Boise’s ability to press the ball down field against a more efficient defense. Troy’s offense is also efficient, but it broke down often under the heavy penetration from the Broncos defense especially their Defensive Line. The Broncos are more accustomed to facing defenses from the Mountain West Conference and non-conference opponents like Washington State and Baylor. The defense for Boise State accounted for 4 sacks, 9 tackles for loss, and 4 pass deflections against the Trojans. Freshman Defensive End Curtis Weaver accounted for 4 tackles (all solo), 2 sacks, and 2 tackles for loss.
The Defense for the Troy Trojans also had a stellar performance they accounted for 12 tackles for loss and 4 sacks. The Trojans’ interior D-Line consistently crashed into Boise State’s backfield. DT Trevon Sanders accounted for 2 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, and 1 sack. This is the Defense that lost 2016 Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Year DE Rashad Dillard. Cornerback Blace Brown intercepted a pass from Boise State QB Brett Rypien and returned it for a 53-yard touchdown late in the 2nd quarter.
Although effective defending the Broncos starting Quarterback Brett Rypien (13 for 23 for 160 yards and 1 interception), the Trojans were not prepared for Boise to enact a two Quarterback system. The 2nd Quarterback was backup and dual-threat QB Montell Cozart, who accounted for 6 completions (out of 9 attempts) for 56 yards and a passing touchdown late in the 4th Quarter. Cozart also rushed for 36 yards on 8 rushing attempts including some key 1st downs.
Trojans Quarterback Brandon Silvers accounted for 17 completions (out of 33 attempts) for 139 yards and 1 interception. He struggled to complete passes because of the constant pressure from the Broncos pass rushers. The Receivers also struggled to get the passing game going as well. The leading receiver for the Trojans was Damian Willis with 27 yards while last year’s returning leader Emanuel Thompson accounted for 25 yards. Head Coach Neal Brown and the offense couldn’t get a progressive drive going because of the heavy pressure from the Broncos defense. RB Jordan Chunn rushed for 1,288 yards and 16 touchdowns last year. Chunn did not have that same impact in this game he only rushed for 41 yards on 11 rushing attempts.
The return game for Boise State was huge WR/KR Cedric Wilson returned a kickoff for 55 yards. Cornerback and key Special Teams Returner Avery Williams returned a kickoff for 48 yards and 5 punts for 124 yards including an 81-yard return for a touchdown on the first Broncos possession in the game.
Although this game makes a big indication on the Trojans’ record, it does not affect their Sun Belt conference championship run. The Troy Trojans (0-1) will get a chance to learn from their mistakes in their first home game against the Alabama State Hornets (0-1) Saturday at 5 p.m. Look for the Trojans to fix their passing game early with Silvers at the helm and focus on the rough edges in their run game with Jordan Chunn.